ABSTRACT: This research focused on the Effects of Truancy on Academic Performance of Primary School Pupils in primary schools. Two research questions and two hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to guide the study. The study adopted a survey research design. The population for the study comprised of all primary 6 pupils in all the primary schools in the study area. A sample size of one hundred and twenty were selected through simple random sampling technique from four public primary schools. Interview schedule entitled “Truancy Information of Pupils (TIP)” and past result of the pupils in Basic Science in 2016/2017 second terminal examination were used for data collection.
The data generated from the instrument were analyzed using independent t-test statistic. The result revealed that; there is a significant difference between academic performance in Basic Science among primary school pupils who attend classes regularly and those who absent themselves from class and that there is a significant difference in academic performance in Basic Science among primary school pupils who come to class early and those who come to class late in the study area. It was therefore recommended that School authorities should enforce compliance to school rules and regulations among students to check the incidence of truancy in primary school pupils
Effects Of Truancy On Academic Performance Of Primary School Pupils
1.1 Background of the study
The school is a social unit established by members of the society as a formal agency of education in which the young attend to learn about themselves, other people as well as the language, custom, attitude and the ways of doing things. Going to school is the first step to a good education and in order to achieve academic excellence, the students are mandated by the school laws to attend school daily but some students after they might have leave the house with the intension of going to school some factors such as fear of punishment from teachers, joining of bad gangs, hating of a particular teacher or the subject taught by the teacher, fear of reading in the class and engaging in drug abuse outside the school most students absent themselves from formal school activities hence engaging in truancy. When this happens everyone loses; students lose the benefits of instruction, the society loses income and the community suffers from increase juvenile crimes.
Truancy refers to the staying away from school without the permission from parent, teacher or school administrators. These encompass students staying away from a particular class or attending the class late may be after a particular process that makes the student to stay outside the class has been exhausted by teacher. This will therefore, make the student to miss the lesson of the day when it comes in the examination questions he/she will not be able to answer the question thereby failing in the examination at last. Truancy is one of the major antisocial discipline problems among secondary school students in Nigeria. Staying outside the classroom during school hours by students may result in various behavioural disorders like stealing, violence, drug abuse; examination malpractice, and sexual abuse which have so undermined effective teaching-learning processes that some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of imparting knowledge to the learners(King, 2013). However, Ma’aruf (2009) asserted that some of the factors responsible for truancy in school include: Poor relationship between children and parents; poor physical conditions at home; use of corporal punishment in the house; as well as lack of parental interest in the child’s welfare. Other causes of truancy according to Obe (2008) include a boring and boredom classes where the teacher is unable to manage the class or is not using relevant instructional materials during lessons thereby engaging the students in abstraction lessons, harsh teachers who are difficult to approach by the students, an unconducive school environment, lack of writing materials such as pens exercise books, lack of recommended textbooks, and lack of other materials such as correct uniform and stockings.
The government is another major factor which causes students truancy. This is attributed to the fact that government do not pay teachers regularly and most of their allowance are being withheld, most teachers find it difficult to be committed and dedicated to their primary duties of teaching. When this occurs and the students do not find their teacher in the class, the next plan of action istruancy. It is common these days to see students roaming the streets during school hours. Such acts have often been followed by incidence of aggressiveness assaulting other students, fighting, raping and other terrible negative actions like arm robbery, gangterism, drug abuse and cultism.
Similarly, according to Shyam (2010) some parents due to the nature of their jobs show nonchalant attitudes to their wards and as such the children grow up to be corrupt and aggressive hence the parents getting nothing and giving out nothing from the children afterward. Most parents do give too much money to their wards thus contributing to their truant behaviours as some students use the money to visit food canteens, betting shops and internet cafes thereby abandoning their lessons (Lazarus, 2014).
The issue is that students who stay away from class without permission will be left behind in the learning process as they will miss the lesson of the day and will not understand the concept of Economics as they ought to they which may probably end them in failing their examinations and may lead to drop-out which the students may resolve to drug abuse, gangsterism, alcohol consumption, free sex, gambling and loitering as they may associate with people who are gangsters in the outside the school.
Certainly, playing truants is a discipline problem and where do these truants go to and what they do during time of absence from school are related concerns. All these have drastically reduced the level of educational development in the country. The objective of secondary school education in Nigeria is to provide students with academic and vocational skills as well as moral ethics, but it is quite unfortunate that these objectives have not been fully achieved due to high level of students’ involvement in truancy.
Moreover, so many studies have been conducted concerning the causes of truancy in secondary school but little attention has been given on the influence of truancy on academic performance of students. It is against this background that this study intends to investigate the effects of truancy on academic performance in of primary school pupils in the study area with the aim of proffering some recommendations that could lead to improvement in the educational system.
Effects Of Truancy On Academic Performance Of Primary School Pupils
1.2 Statement to the problem
Educational goal of discipline is to produce young people who will be responsible adults who should be able to take decisions and accept the consequences of these decisions. Adults who should be able to form their own image and not just moving in people shadow (Ekanem, 2006). This discipline role is carried out by the members of the school administration. The aim according to Ekanem is to create conducive environment for learning which could be evidenced in the academic performance of students in external and internal examinations.
However, despite the disciplinary actions taken by teachers and principals, documentations from Educational examination bodies statistics unit showed that in 2016 pupils who passed the common entrance certificate examination at an acceptable credit level of five including Mathematics and English language were 48.36% (Essien, 2017). In an attempt to investigate the issue of poor academic performance of students, several studies have been conducted in different area in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district. Most studies tend to emphasize that factors such as age, gender, family variables, school variables as well as the environment influence the poor academic performance of students in Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts (Daniel, 2010; Ekanem, 2014; Annang, 2015; and Umoetor, 2015).
Moreover, it appears that few studies have been conducted in secondary schools in Oruk Anam Local Government Area on truancy and academic performance of students where educational performance of students in secondary schools appears to be poor and also seem to be degrading. This study aims to fill this gap by examining truancy and academic performance of pupils in primary schools in the study area with a view of providing recommendations that would help reverse the situation.